Cytomegalovirus antigen within human arterial smooth muscle cells

Lancet. 1983 Sep 17;2(8351):644-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(83)92529-1.


Arterial tissues from carotid artery plaques or from punch-biopsy samples of uninvolved areas of the aorta were removed from 132 patients with atherosclerosis during blood-vessel surgery. Cells morphologically identical to smooth muscle cells were cultured from 26 to 126 plaque samples and from 6 of 6 punch-biopsy samples. Immunofluorescence tests of these cells showed that more than 25% of the cell cultures from both types of sample contained antigens of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) but not of herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2. Replicating CMV was not detected by electron microscopy in the antigen-positive cells, suggesting that the artery walls may be a site of CMV latency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Viral / analysis*
  • Arteries / immunology
  • Arteries / microbiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / immunology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / microbiology


  • Antigens, Viral